Former war memorial hospital, Crickhowell

PWMP logobutton_lang_welshFormer war memorial hospital, Crickhowell

Ivy Tower, the house behind the railings at this corner plot, was built in 1719 and has had many uses. In the 19th century it was a private school for girls from wealthy families.

It is named after the tower at the eastern end of the plot. The tower may look medieval but it’s a Victorian folly.

crickhowell_ivy_towerDuring the First World War, Ivy Tower was home to the Crickhowell War Hospital Supply Depot, where women collected and made items for military hospitals in Britain and as far afield as India. The depot operated from 1915 until 1919. At any one time, 16 to 20 women staffed the depot, many of them doing work such as sewing. Other women produced objects at home for delivery to the depot.

In October 1916 the Abergavenny Chronicle reported that the women had been exceptionally busy since May, and had dispatched 2,195 items including hand-knitted socks, surgical socks, handkerchiefs, bandages, swabs, bedlinen and pillows. It had also received more than £160 in donations.

crickhowell_ivy_tower_hospitalAfter the war, Lord Glanusk donated the building for its conversion into the Crickhowell War Memorial Hospital. The 10-bed facility opened in June 1920. It had a mortuary, located in the folly tower. The photos, courtesy of Crickhowell District Archive Centre, show Ivy Tower as a hospital, with a commemorative plaque on the gable wall.

Ivy Tower became a youth hostel in the late 1930s. The sale of the building to the Youth Hostels Association helped to fund a new memorial hospital east of the town, near the current war memorial. The youth hostel closed in the early 1980s.

With thanks to the Chris Lewis Collection, Crickhowell District Archive Centre

Postcode: NP8 1BL    View Location Map

To continue the Crickhowell in WW1 tour, go down High St, turn right into Bridge Street and continue down to the river bridge
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